The Lorica of Gildas

Book of Cerne
The Lorica of Loding in the Book of Cerne

The Lorica (Breastplate) of Gildas is also known as the Lorica of Loding, and is found in the Book of Cerne.

Trinity in unity, preserve me.
Unity in Trinity, have mercy on me.

I pray,
preserve me from all dangers
which overwhelm me
like the waves of the sea,
so that neither mortality
nor the vanity of the world
may sweep me away this year.
And I also ask,
send the high, mighty hosts of heaven,
that they not abandon me
to be destroyed by enemies,
but defend me now
with their strong shields
and that the heavenly army
advance before me:
cherubim and seraphim by the thousands,
and archangels Michael and Gabriel, likewise,
I ask, send these living thrones,
principalities and powers and angels,
so that I may be strong,
defended against the flood of strong enemies
in the next battle.

May Christ, whose terror scares away the foul throngs,
make with me a strong covenant.
God the unconquerable guardian,
defend me on every side by your power.
Free all my limbs,
with your safe shield protecting each,
so that the fallen demons cannot attack
against my sides or pierce me with their darts.
I pray, Lord Jesus Christ, be my sure armor.
Cover me, therefore, O God, with your strong breastplate.
Cover me all in all with my five senses,
so that, from my soles to the top of the head,
in no member, without within, may I be sick;
that, from my body, life be not cast out
by plague, fever, weakness, suffering,
Until, with the gift of old age from God,
departing from the flesh, be free from stain,
and be able to fly to the heights,
and, by the mercy of God, be borne in joy
to the heavenly cool retreats of his kingdom.

Source: The Lorica of Gildas, also known as the Lorica of Loding from the Book of Cerne. The section above was translated by Paul C. Stratman for A Collection of Prayers.

Note: The Lorica of Loding continues after the section above to appeal to the saints for protection, and then to pray, individually, for protection for all the parts of the body. The remainder of the Lorica is presented below, based on the translation by Hugh Williams in Gildas: The Ruin of Britain … together with the Lorica of Gildas, 1899.

Patriarchs four, prophets four,
apostles, watchmen of the ship of Christ,
and all the athlete martyrs, I ask–
And charge also all virgins,
faithful widows, and confessors,
to surround me by their safety,
and every evil perish from me.

May Christ, whose terror scares away the foul throngs,
make with me a strong covenant.
God the unconquerable guardian,
defend me on every side by your power.
Free all my limbs,
with your safe shield protecting each,
so that the fallen demons cannot attack
against my sides, or pierce me with their darts.
Skull, head, hair and eyes,
forehead, tongue, teeth and their covering,
neck, breast, side, bowels,
waist, buttocks and both hands.
For the crown of my head with its hair,
be the helmet of salvation on my head;
for forehead, eyes, triform brain,
nose, lip, face, temple;
for chin, beard, eye-brows, ears,
cheeks, lower cheeks, internasal, nostrils;
for the pupils, irises, eyelashes, eyelids,
chin, breathing, cheeks, jaws;
for teeth, tongue, mouth, throat,
uvula, windpipe, bottom of tongue, nape;
for the middle of the head, for cartilage,
neck—you, kind One, be near for defense.
I pray, Lord Jesus Christ, by the nine orders of holy angels,
Lord, be my sure armor,
for my limbs, for my entrails,
that you may drive back from me the invisible
nails of stakes, which enemies fashion.
Cover me, therefore, O God, with strong breastplate,
along with shoulder blades, shoulders and arms.
Cover my elbows and elbow-joints and hands,
fists, palms, fingers with their nails.
Cover back-bone and ribs with their joints,
hind-parts, back, nerves and bones.
Cover surface, blood and kidneys,
haunches, buttocks with the thighs.
Cover hams, calves, thighs,
knee-caps, hocks and knees.
Cover ankles, shins and heels,
legs, feet with the rests of the soles.
Cover the branches that grow ten together,
with the toes and their nails ten.
Cover chest, sternum, the little breast,
nipple, stomach, navel.
Cover belly, reins, genitals,
and paunch, and vital parts also of the heart.
Cover the triangular liver and fat,
spleen, armpits with covering.
Cover stomach, chest with the lungs,
veins, sinews, gall-bladder with
Cover flesh, groin with the inner parts,
spleen with the winding intestines.
Cover bladder, fat and all
the numberless orders of joints.
Cover hairs, and the rest of my limbs,
whose names, may be, I have passed by.
Cover me all in all with my five senses,
and with the ten doors formed for me,
so that, from my soles to the top of the head,
in no member, without within, may I be sick;
that, from my body, life be not cast out
by plague, fever, weakness, suffering,
Until, with the gift of old age from God,
I blot out my sins with good works;
And, in departing from the flesh, be free from stain,
and be able to fly to the heights,
and, by the mercy of God, be borne in joy
to the heavenly cool retreats of his kingdom.

 

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St. Patrick’s Evensong

May your holy angels, O Christ, Son of living God,
Guard our sleep, our rest, our shining bed.

Let them reveal true visions to us in our sleep,
O High Prince of the universe, O great King of the mysteries!

May no demons, no ill, no calamity or terrifying dreams
Disturb our rest, our willing, prompt repose.

May our watch be holy, our work, our task,
Our sleep, our rest without stop, without break.

Source: St. Patrick’s Evensong, translated as prose by Kuno Meyer in Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry, New York, 1911.

Jesus, Son of God most high,
May your holy angels keep
Watch around us as we lie
In our shining beds asleep.

Time’s hid veil with truth to pierce
Let them teach our dreaming eyes,
High King of the Universe,
High Priest of the Mysteries.

May no demon of the air,
May no malice of our foes,
Evil dream or haunting care
Mar our willing, prompt repose!

May our vigils hallowed be
By the tasks we undertake!
May our sleep be fresh and free,
Without stop and without break.

St. Patrick’s Evensong, translated as poetry, from A Celtic PsalteryNew York, 1917.

Máel Ísu’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit

O Holy Spirit, hasten to us!
Move round about us, in us, through us!
All our deadened souls’ desires
Inflame anew with heavenly fires!

Yea ! let each heart become a hostel
Of your bright presence Pentecostal,
Whose power from pestilence and slaughter
Shall shield us still by land and water.

From bosom sins, seducing devils,
From hell with all its thousand evils,
For Jesus’ only sake and merit,
Preserve us, O Almighty Spirit!

Source: Attributed to Máel Ísu, found in A Celtic Psaltery, by Alfred Perceval Graves, F. A. Stokes Company, New York, 1917.

The Lorica of Mugron

This Lorica of Mugron asks for the protection of the cross of Christ on all parts of the body. The idea is that Christ fills all our lives, so we do not need to be afraid. In one source, this Lorica was called “The Lorica of Columkille” (or Columba).

The cross of Christ upon this face,
and over this ear,
The cross of Christ upon this eye.
The cross of Christ upon this nose.
The cross of Christ upon this mouth.
The cross of Christ upon this tongue.
The cross of Christ upon this throat.
The cross of Christ upon this back.
The cross of Christ upon this side.
The cross of Christ upon this belly …
The cross of Christ upon my hands,
from my shoulders to my palms.
The cross of Christ over my legs,
The cross of Christ with me before me,
The cross of Christ with me after me,
The cross of Christ to face every trouble
in valley and hill.
The cross of Christ as I look east.
The cross of Christ toward the sunset.
In the north and south. never stopping,
the cross of Christ always there.
The cross of Christ over my teeth,
to protect from harm and danger.
The cross of Christ over my stomach.
The cross of Christ over my heart.
The cross of Christ up to highest heaven.
The cross of Christ down to earth.
There shall come no evil nor suffering
to my body or to my soul.
The cross of Christ at my sitting.
The cross of Christ at my lying.
The cross of Christ all my strength,
until we reach the King of heaven.
The cross of Christ over my community.
The cross of Christ over my church.
The cross of Christ in the next world.
The cross of Christ in this.
From the top of my head
to the sole of my foot,
O Christ, in all trouble,
I trust in the protection of your cross.
Until the day I die
before returning to the earth,
I shall trace on myself
the cross of Christ upon this face.

Source: From the Lorica of Mugron,  d. 980-981, composite translation, based mostly on The Irish Liber Hymnorum, by John Henry Bernard, 1898, p. 212

Original in old Irish:

Cros Chríst tarsin n-gnúis-se, tarsin g-clúais fon cóir-se.
Cros Chríst tarsin súil-se.
Cros Chríst tarsin sróin-se.
Cros Chríst tarsin m-bél-sa.
Cros Chríst tarsin cráes-sa.
Cros Chríst tarsin cúl-sa.
Cros Chríst tarsin táeb-sa.
Cros Chríst tarsin m-broinn-se (is amlaid as chuimse).
Cros Chríst tarsin tairr-se.
Cros Chríst tarsin n-druim-se.
Cros Chríst tar mo láma óm gúaillib com basa.
Cros Chríst tar mo lesa.
Cros Chríst tar mo chasa.
Cros Chríst lem ar m’ agaid.
Cros Chríst lem im degaid.
Cros Chríst fri cach n-doraid
eitir fán is telaig.
Cros Chríst sair frim einech
Cros Chríst síar fri fuined.
Tes, túaid cen nach n-anad,
Cros Chríst cen nach fuirech.
Cros Chríst tar mo déta
nám-tháir bét ná bine.
Cros Chríst tar mo gaile.
Cros Chríst tar mo chride.
Cros Chríst súas fri fithnim.
Cros Chríst sís fri talmain.
Ní thí olc ná urbaid
dom chorp ná dom anmain.
Cros Chríst tar mo suide.
Cros Chríst tar mo lige.
Cros Chríst mo bríg uile
co roisem Ríg nime.
Cros Chríst tar mo muintir.
Cros Chríst tar mo thempal.
Cros Chríst isin altar.
Cros Chríst isin chentar.
O mullach mo baitse
co ingin mo choise,
a Chríst, ar cach n-gábad
for snádad do chroise.
Co laithe mo báis-se,
ría n-dol isin n-úir-se,
cen (ainis) do-bér-sa
Cros Chríst tarsin n-gnúis-se.

God the Sender, Send Us

Image result for welsh church

God the sender, send us.
God the sent, come with us.
God the strengthener of those who go,
empower us, that we may go
forever and wherever, with you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Source: Welsh. Source unknown. It may be of more recent origin.
Source of this version: https://oneresurrection.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/blessing-and-sending/

Variant:
God the Sender, send us.
God the Sent, come with us.
God the Strengthener of those who go,
empower us,
that we may go with you
and find those who will call you
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Source of this version: https://prayerandverse.com/2016/06/10/send-come-and-empower-us/

Another variant:

God the Sender, send me.
God the Sent, come with me.
God the Strengthener of those who go,
empower me,
that I may go with you
and find those who will call you
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Source of this version: Bead One, Pray Too: A Guide to Making and Using Prayer Beads

Evensong

Jesus, Son of God most high,
May your holy angels keep
Watch around us as we lie
In our shining beds asleep.

Time’s hid veil with truth to pierce
Let them teach our dreaming eyes,
High King of the Universe,
High Priest of the Mysteries.

May no demon of the air,
May no malice of our foes,
Evil dream or haunting care
Mar our willing, prompt repose!

May our vigils hallowed be
By the tasks we undertake!
May our sleep be fresh and free,
Without stop and without break.

Source: St. Patrick’s Evensong, from A Celtic Psaltery, New York, 1917.

 

Hail, All Glorious Lord!

Hail, all glorious Lord, with holy mirth!
May Church and chancel praise your good counsel,
each chancel and church.
All plains and mountains,
and you three fountains–
two above wind,
and one above earth!
May light and darkness bless you.
Fine silk, green forest confess you.
Thus did Abraham, father
of faith, with joy possess you.
Bird and bee song bless you
among the lilies and roses!
All the old all the young
praise you with joyful tongue
As your praise was once sung
by Aaron and Moses,
Male and female,
the days that are seven,
the stars of heaven,
the air and the ether,
every book and fair letter;
fish in waters fair flowing,
and song and deed glowing,
grey sand and green sward
make your blessing’s award;
and all such as with good
have satisfied stood!
While my own mouth shall bless you
and my Savior confess you.
Hail glorious Lord!

Source: From a 12th century manuscript, “The Black Book of Carmarthen,” in A Celtic Psaltery, by Alfred Perceval Graves, F. A. Stokes Company, New York, 1917.